Metal Music is a Foundation. Take that Tipper Gore!

I love heavy metal music, but I also love classical music. I grew up on Ozzy, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Greta Van Fleet. My love for music started when I was in kindergarten. My dad or uncles would pick me up from school and play bands on mix tapes eventually CDS. Imagine if you will a little girl with ridiculously long hair moshing it out on the spare bedroom screaming on top of her lungs. The child with girly clothes listening to Dragula” by Rob Zombie, from the Hillbilly Deluxe album jumping from one spot to another. Not a care in the world it created my mental home away from it all.

Rob Zombie, More Human than Human photo cover. I do not own any rights to this photo.

I loved the guitar rifts, the reckless abandon, the hair, I loved it all. Growing up rock and metal had heavy influences on my talents. I learned to enjoy reading from album pamphlets. I wrote lyrics from songs recorded from the radio. Learning great patience as an ADHD child and spent too much money on tapes to record for hours. I can talk hours about musician interviews and how Twisted Sister, Dee Schneider taught me about freedom of speech or that Marilyn Manson taught me it’s ok to disagree with media. Part of me feels music in my soul; when I hear it and feel it, I can build a soundtrack to my day. I still make soundtracks no longer calling into the radio just to hear the Foo Fighters or to hear my number one song Bullet with Butterfly wings by the Smashing Pumpkins. I now use Spotify because I’m a grown up, and it takes less patience to build my daily track.

Over the years certain soundtracks have saved my life. Linkin Parks Hybrid Theory saved me from dark depression. I remember they came out my high school years. I was secretly drinking at friends houses in the morning to escape from my reality. The drinking was to hide the pain of childhood sexual abuse, parental abuse and depression. I had untreated PTSD and ADHD. I’m not a headcase but had lots of unresolved trauma built up. The first time I listened to In the End by Linkin Park my spirit woke. I beat that song to death after every counselling session. When I was angry, I would play the entire album on top volume until the thoughts in my head couldn’t be heard. Hybrid Theory reawakened my great love for music. I soon pirated countless albums and purchased CDS with whatever money I had. I would often skip class and bus down to the mall to buy a new album from the discount bin to see what album would speak to me. One band that I enjoyed and currently enjoy is Pantera.

Linkin Park- Hybrid Theory Album Art cover. Art cover created by Shinoda

Pantera spoke to me in ways to grasp my anger. Harness it and release it through singing along. My ADHD has wild crazy days that I need the face paced sound of Cowboys from Hell. Good Christian families say this particular band has no sustenance on a persons values. I whole heartily disagree and would tell them to shove it with a cactus. Following the songs of Pantera it helped allow the high vibrational energy of ADHD to flow. Following the drum beats of most fast pasted metal taught me to fidget and taught me rhythms. During work outs I use bands like Pantera, Tool, CKY, and Red Sun Rising to channel extra energy and to feel more alert exerting the pent-up energy I often try to hide. Music and artist that have a craft to invoke emotional release should not be silenced but embraced. Listening to these bands have given more effective outlets than therapy. Imagine allowing more people to feel like they have a space to be themselves and be allowed to feel emotions we try to silence in society.

I even found community in metal music. There was a teacher who taught at my school for music appreciation. His name was Mr. Knowles, and he was a gift from the universe given to misunderstood kids like me. Sitting in his class seeing painted desk covered with album art and allowance of self creativity. He never once judged children or adolescent youth instead he would listen and try to approach with philosophy. In our class he asked students to make a soundtrack that explained situations in our life. It had to be in chronological order. The first song on my soundtrack was Sing Life Away by Rise Against; I chose this song because it explained my adventures of running away and people I had met on chance. I remember Mr. Knowles saying it was a wise choice, but I should meditate on why I’m drawn to sad songs. He suggested albums with happier tones but still allowed creative thought on lyrical content. In came the band The darkness I found great joy with upbeat tones and directive to change my voice in trying to sing along. I had discovered I love dancing to upbeat rock music. Such bands as Trooper, Tenacious D, Van Halen, and Offspring have become cult favourites to play during my happier moments with my ADHD and high-energy personality.

Foo Fighters Logo by Generalgregsworth from deviant art.com

Metal music opened doors in my life. Without it, I cannot imagine being the person I am today. Being here and present today is largely contributed to metal. In the 1970s to early 90s Tipper Gore and the and FCC tried their best to rid metal from the airways. I’m so forever grateful for the artist who stood up for themselves and others saying no you cannot restrict our rights. Metal is not just long hair, it’s not just rebellion it’s about family, outlets, community, and a sense of self. Lives count on metal music to bring them back from the brink of desperation and allow for voices to rise. Metal music is home to many but is a home to me nonetheless.

Written by Ali Johnson

Darn you Universe, you’re good.

I had all hopes of this blog fazing out by not renewing my credit card. Today I looked at my statement and the payment went through. Amazed by not giving the right information, by some odd chance the universe wants me to continue writing. My labradite pendulum had a message that I needed to push through my self doubts. In meditation, I had been seeing Freya lead me in the direction to finding my true purpose. No matter how much I really wanted to quit there was too many universal forces at play.

Last week I felt defeated by a blood bond who has made it her passion to try and cause chaos. My old self, the hidden girl wanted to quit. We had dreams of walking backwards. In our dreams we held hands back to our mental cage: the cage in which we built during our childhood to deal with mental wounds. I asked the small hidden girl if she was sure this was the right path. To give up once again because the wounds had been opened wide. She looked unsure as this possibly was the path we so often choose instead of facing the fear of darkness. I remember seeing the road looked worn and faded. I have mentally walked this road and metaphysically walked this road to its final resting place. Not only that, but I looked at the hidden girl her face filled with tears, I said to her in the dream “no more child we are free.”

Photo by Murtaza Saifee on Pexels.com

I awoke from that deep meditation place only to have more questions. I needed to seek guidance of forces not from this realm. Choosing to invoke Freya and Odin I called upon them. I offered my growing sunflower, salt, cinnamon, and cedar. I dawned my white fawn mask and took off my clothes. Invoking feels right if I offer my spirit and earthly body in the way it was made. I did two rituals that night one was to cleanse my room of any negative energies meant to cause harm. Opening the circle with elements I began to feel the power flow. Enveloping myself with white light I had a forethought to write down the words flowing in my mind.

I felt that I needed to put cleaned water in my chalice. I placed pink salt in the water with cedar droplets. Stirring in the water these words had come to me.

 Oh fearless knight, make things right
 Stand guard for tonight, basked in moonlight
 Protect my home, may the wanderless not roam
 Oh fearless knight, make things right
 So blessed be, so mote it be. 

I had written down the incantation on a white envelope. It only felt right to place the spell under the chalice for a whole day and night. The next invocation that came and with my intentions was for Freya and Odin to guide me down the path of understatement. To guide me to meet the knight guarding my best kept secrets. To unlock my vault of fear. My last request before giving thanks was to guide me in the path of the warrior I have always been & to have the knowledge to accept that fate. In my state of mind I saw Freya and Bridget standing in the mountains with light around them. A raven flew overhead with piercing eyes. My voice had been heard. I gave many thanks for their gifts and knowledge. When I closed my circle I felt different more connected to the elements of my soul than ever before.

Odd things have happened since the invocation. Explanations are beyond rational, but I found I have family I’ve never met who also is spiritual. When anyone brings up my birth giver I feel less attached to react but to continue walking in the path that was made by the universe. My dreams have become clear in messages of things I’ve ignored, and I started to embrace grief as an old friend. Spiritually I feel less blocked in my intuition and inner knowledge. All that was meant to be is happening the signs are there. I was not meant to give up and be defeated by the evil spirit meant to cause harm.

Written by Ali Johnson

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

F**k This Year and Everything With It.

My title says it all, fuck this year and everything with it. I’m swearing and normally, I would not in my writing. To be candid I’m over this year and the crap that came packing with it. This year has brought pain, annoyances, and entitled people. I have never seen people act crudely towards others as much as this year. I’m appalled at the behaviour we are all displaying!

Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com

Somehow in the last few years we were moving in a strong direction to treat others with kindness. I noticed a phenomenal uptick in people accepting others. We were becoming more aware of differences and embracing it. Different was refreshing like a sweet tea. I don’t know what happened to that direction because I feel like the world through it down the garberator and shredded the humanity we had.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It can’t be fully blamed on lockdown and the Coronavirus. We’re using that as an excuse to treat others like utter garbage. I’m over it and it’s time to call out the b.s. of others and the world being trash and acting entitled over people. Our world is divided right now, and we are going backwards. Instead of learning about history and how to be better, we are trying to erase it and make a new narrative. That horrified me: because without history we are doomed to repeat past mistakes. History and the past is disgusting, it is riddled with human error and stories that show the dark side of humanity. Looking at where we are now in history we are really not setting up future children for the brighter side. We are losing culture, we are losing respect, we undoubtedly are losing good qualities and lessons to teach. Whether it be political or racial; or it will be acceptance and understanding, how are actions and choices are right now doesn’t make face to what needs to happen.

I tried to find images that represent this post. Writing this blog post I really feel fractured about my feelings towards people this year.
Photo by Jakayla Toney on Pexels.com

I’m a housekeeper and I know that I’m on the lower totem pole of life. In the past few months I have been dealing with people. I’m appalled at how money and lifestyles is division. I have been yelled at. My life has been threatened by bad customers. I’ve had customers try to scam me for money then threaten my family. Words and actions have been done that are seemingly unfair. I’m not fine with how I see division from wealthy people treat people like me trying to run a business. There is no question to the division. I’ve also been called a filthy Albertan in Ontario. This is our country: we share it with all different cultures and religions. Canada and other countries are a cooking pot of diversity and were fucking it up on trying to get people united to move into the future. I’ve had more bad customers than good. I’m fully seeing the division and misunderstandings that is leading to entitlement.

From riots to poor government and people with cellphones is this what we want our future to show? Losing friendships and community because unless it’s a mass opinion we need shame others for their thoughts. Now I’m not saying you get to hate others for their sexual orientation or the skin that they are born in. I’m also highly against us allowing sexual predators to have more rights than their victims. In this year alone I have noticed a trend: you are not allowed the right to free thinking. Generally speaking, if you think beyond what is being told, others will feel free to be judged, jury, executioner. Humans are not showing we are capable of putting our pitchforks down. Instead, we now do virtual lynch mobs. Has our god dam common sense gone down the drain?

It is not about me, it is not about you, it is about getting better. All of our human shit needs to collected up and let’s be better. Do Better. We are better than this. Get it together people of 2020, or we are going to be in a disturbingly rough ride for the future.

Written by Ali Johnson

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Dear Dad (Thoughts on building a relationship with my dad in adulthood.)

Dear Dad,

I called you last week to vent about picking up my sons medication. You calmly talked me down from the cliff of despair. Being who you are I don’t know how you do it. Talk calmly to me when I feel like a mess of a human being. I’m not always a mess dad, but I feel like one sometimes because I’m learning to be a parent. Even though its water under the bridge I get sad sometimes because you are being more of a dad now than when I needed you the most.

I still get sad on Father’s Day when women share stories of times their fathers spent with them. Not that you didn’t spend the odd time with me. We had Taco Bell and the Monkey Forrest. We had the weird shop of your friends who sold interesting things like taro cards and a homey smell of sandalwood. There were times of listening to music which created my love for Rob Zombie and Smashing Pumpkins. The moments we had spent together were fine because it helped shape my interest. Some Fathers go fishing and camping trips but ours was outings. I think the main part of hearing stories of fathers who would do anything for their daughters is that it’s not our relationship. I don’t know if it ever will be. That’s ok though because in the last couple of years you have gained my respect.

Sometimes I struggle with your fear of my special needs child. You don’t say it out loud however some slight comments make me worried. Yes, your grandson has Autism and Juvenile Arthritis. Is it terrifying? Absolutely, I’m terrified of it too. My terrified is different because I feel like a failure when it comes to helping my child with disabilities. That’s why I try to call you because possibly, you would be able to treat me like a normal person. You see, when you’re a special needs parent your either treated like a superhero or your treated with apologies. What people forget to treat a special needs parent is with empathy and understanding that we love our kids but sometimes it’s a blurred line with doctors, medications, therapist, and school. I value you Dad, for putting words to my feelings, and I know I complain a fair bit when I get frustrated about the whole situation. Please don’t be scared of your grandson and please see the little boy that he is. He’s neurotypical and complex, but he is loving and intelligent. Creative and filled with brilliant ideas far beyond his time. You have only met him twice and you have not met your other grandson; but I think if you give them a chance to know them, you would see the parts of you in there too.

I know I was complicated much like my son, and that was terrifying for you. You were not ready for me when I was born. I get that because I had my oldest at nineteen and you were in your twenties. Here’s the thing even though I wasn’t ready I still try to be there for my kids. You did get better with my sisters and you learned to be a dad to them. I remember somebody once asked me how mad I felt that you learned to be a dad to someone else. Feeling mad is not how I would describe it. I do feel pride for you because you still grew as a person. You keep growing and I see the changes you have made in the last ten years. In ten years I have seen you as a lost person, and now I see you as a strong human being. Hearing you say that you found a new job or did something exciting makes me feel like you are finally where you need to be.

What I really want to say to you and I struggle to say it sometimes, I’m happier now knowing you than when I knew you as a kid. I’m not angry at you anymore because the dad I get now is a good dad who is trying. Giving a second chance wasn’t easy to do but I’m happy I didn’t walk away from you and we still found a way to communicate. Please don’t give up on me because I don’t want to give up on you.

I love you Dad,

Ali Johnson